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Using stable isotopes and major ions to identify recharge characteristics of the Alpine groundwater-flow dominated Triglavska Bistrica River
Luka Serianz, Sonja Cerar, Polona Vreča, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Triglavska Bistrica is a typical Alpine river in the north-western part of Slovenia. Its recharge area includes some of the highest peaks in the Julian Alps. The hydrogeological conditions and flow of the river depend largely on groundwater exchange between the karstified aquifer in the carbonate rocks and the intergranular aquifer in the glaciofluvial deposits. The average volume of the river flow is up to several m3/s. In this study, water samples from different locations along the river were analysed for stable isotope ratios of oxygen and hydrogen, major ions, and concentration of tritium activity. The correlation of major ions suggests that the recharge area consists of both limestone and dolomite rocks. The δ18O and δ2H values decrease downstream, implying that the average recharge elevation increases. At the downstream sampling site V-5, located approx. 300 m upstream from the confluence of the Sava Dolinka River, the calculated mean recharge altitude is estimated to be 1,996 m.
Keywords: groundwater, oxygen and hydrogen isotopes, hydrogeochemistry, recharge area, Alpine aquifer, Slovenia
Published in DiRROS: 09.03.2022; Views: 736; Downloads: 243
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Combining an occurrence model and a quantitative model for the prediction of the sanitary felling of Norway spruce because of bark beetles
Maarten De Groot, Nikica Ogris, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: The European spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus L.) is an eruptive forest pest that has caused a great deal of damage in the last decades because of increasing climatic extremes. In order to effectively manage outbreaks of this pest, it is important to predict where they will occur in the future. In this study we developed a predictive model of the sanitary felling of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) because of bark beetles. We used a time series of sanitary felling because of bark beetles from 1996 to 2020 in Slovenia. For the explanatory variables, we used soil, site, climate, geographic, and tree damage data from the previous year. The model showed that sanitary felling is negatively correlated with slope, soil depth, soil cation exchange capacity, and Standard Precipitation Index (less sanitary felling in wet years). On the other hand, soil base saturation percentage, temperature, sanitary felling because of bark beetles from the previous year, sanitary felling because of other abiotic factors from the previous year, and the amount of spruce were positively correlated with the sanitary felling of Norway spruce due to bark beetles. The model had an R2 of 0.38. A prediction was performed for 2021 combining an occurrence model and a quantitative model. The model can be used to predict the amount of sanitary felling of Norway spruce due to bark beetles and to refine the risk map for the next year, which can be used for forest management planning and economic loss predictions.
Keywords: sanitary felling, prediction, Ips typographus, Picea abies, Slovenia, forecasting, insect outbreak forest pest
Published in DiRROS: 21.02.2022; Views: 477; Downloads: 418
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Next-generation sequencing to characterize pyrazinamide resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from two Balkan countries
Eva Sodja, Simon Koren, Nataša Toplak, Sara Truden, Marija Žolnir-Dovč, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Objectives. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) provide a comprehensive analysis of the genetic alterations that are most commonly linked with pyrazinamide (PZA) resistance. There are no studies reporting molecular background of PZA resistance in TB isolates from Balkan Peninsula. We aimed to examine the feasibility of full-length analysis of a gene linked with PZA resistance, pncA, using Ion Torrent technology in comparison to phenotypic BACTEC MGIT 960 DST in clinical TB isolates from two countries of the Balkan Peninsula. Methods. Between 1996 and 2017, we retrospectively selected 61 TB isolates. To identify gene variants related to drug resistance in genomic DNA extracted from TB isolates, AmpliSeq libraries were generated automatically using the AmpliSeq™ Kit for Chef DL8 and the Ion AmpliSeq TB Research Panel. Result.s Of all 61 TB isolates included, 56 TB were phenotypically resistant to any antibiotic. Among them, 38/56 (67.9%) TB isolates were phenotypically resistant to pyrazinamide and pncA mutations were detected in 33/38 cases (86.8%). A mutation in the pncA promoter region was the most prevalent genetic alteration, detected in eight TB isolates. Comparison of NGS to conventional BACTEC MGIT 960 DST revealed very strong agreement (90.2%) between the two methods in identifying PZA resistance, with high sensitivity (89.5%) and specificity (95.7%) for NGS. Conclusions. Detection of PZA resistance using NGS seems to be a valuable tool for surveillance of TB drug resistance also in the Balkan Peninsula, with great potential to provide useful information at least one weak earlier than is possible with phenotypic DST.
Keywords: tuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, high-throughput nucleotide sequencing, pyrazinamide, microbial sensitivity tests, next-generation sequencing, drug susceptibility testing, Slovenia, Republic of North Macedonia
Published in DiRROS: 10.01.2022; Views: 700; Downloads: 454
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Climate change and disturbances will shape future temperate forests in the transition zone between Central and SE Europe
Lado Kutnar, Janez Kermavnar, Anže Martin Pintar, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: It is expected that climate change as well as abiotic and anthropogenic disturbances will strongly influence temperate forests. Besides changes in the main climate variables, various disturbance factors may significantly worsen conditions for mesic Slovenian forests (SE Europe) dominated by European beech (Fagus sylvatica), Norway spruce (Picea abies) and European silver fir (Abies alba). In Slovenia, the climate has warmed in recent decades, with an average annual rate of increase of about 0.4°C per decade or even more than 0.5°C per decade in summer. In addition, disturbances have caused considerable damage to trees in the most extensive forest types in Slovenia, starting with a widespread ice storm in 2014, followed by bark beetle outbreaks, windthrows and salvage logging interventions. After 2014, salvage logging increased from about one third to two thirds of the total annual felling. Over the last two decades, we have observed a decline in Norway spruce growing stock, with the highest rate of decrease in areas below 500 m a.s.l., and an increasing trend for European beech. Overall, the three dominant species (beech, spruce, silver fir), which together account for more than 70% of the total growing stock, have shown a declining trend over the last 20 years. The patterns observed are broadly consistent with earlier predictions developed for different climate change scenarios and with those reported in many other European countries. Adaptive forest management, which implements close-to-nature silviculture, has been traditionally practised in the region under study and has the potential to play an important role in reducing the risks associated with the impacts of climate change and disturbances in the future.
Keywords: climate warming, disturbance factors, ice storm, bark beetle outbreaks, spruce decline, salvage logging, tree species composition, temperate forest, Slovenia
Published in DiRROS: 03.01.2022; Views: 601; Downloads: 532
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"Kosovo, My Land"? : Slovenians, Albanians, and the Limits of Yugoslav Social Cohesion
Jure Ramšak, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: The author examines the Kosovo crisis in the context of the pluralisation and democratisation of Slovenian society in the 1980s and early 1990s. This issue became a catalyst not only for the repositioning of structures of party leadership in relation to Belgrade, but also with respect to general public debates. By charting individual stages of the critical decade of 1981%1991, the author presents Slovenian perceptions of Kosovo%s political, economic, and social issues, first through the works of neo-Marxist critics and later through the activism of a group of left-liberal intellectuals, which included the provision of legal support and a high-profile social action related to the violations of Kosovar Albanian human rights. The author discusses the constraints encountered by this brief attempt to establish a pan-Yugoslav civil society initiative. At the same time, he shows how the complexities of the Kosovo crisis were used to coalesce the Slovenian nation into flight from Yugoslavia.
Keywords: self-management socialism, human rights, social cohesion, dissolution of Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Slovenia
Published in DiRROS: 23.12.2021; Views: 569; Downloads: 554
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